Archive | May, 2013

Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century

27 May

The video, “Digital Media:  New Learners of the 21st Century” was incredibly educational for me, having not been in the primary classroom for over a decade!  To see the kinds of technology kids are using today is inspiring!  As a DC resident, the piece on the Smithsonian Institution hit home for me.  Having  visited some of the Smithsonian museums recently, it was encouraging to see how much they have incorporated technology to enhance the learning experience.  The video explored a program run by the Smithsonian in which students create a scavenger hunt for their peers using their cell phones.  I thought this was a creative approach to engaging the students more in the vast array of collections the museums have to offer.  Students these days are more likely to associate a museum with boring artifacts and paintings, however, this program makes exploring the museum interesting and interactive as they text clues and take photographs with the phones.  The one statement that really resonated with me was  that we learn best by teaching; that we truly grasp a concept when we are having to explain or show it to someone.  I agree with the statement wholeheartedly and hope that I can use this technique in my classroom in the future.

SOL Focus

27 May

The standard I will be focusing on this semester is Grade 3 History (Standards 3.1)  I have always been intrigued by history and love to read about other cultures and civilizations.  I  would like to be able to utilize videos and visuals to help teach this standard.  I also would like to use interactive maps, globes and Smartboard activities to help the students grasp the expansion of these classic civilizations.  Finally, I believe that a field trip to the National Mall would benefit those visual and tactile learners.

Edudemic!

27 May

After perusing the recommended blogs, the Edudemic blog caught my attention because of its marrying of education and technology.  I decided this blog would be the most beneficial for me because of my interest in enhancing my knowledge of technology in the education field.  

Edudemic’s goal is “to connect teachers, administrators, students, and just about everyone else with the best technology on the planet.”  This blog was created by Jeff Dunn and Katie Lepi and encourages the discovery and sharing of new technologies for the educator.  As someone who feels slightly technologically deficient, I am excited to continue exploring and learning from this site.

“4 Tools to Avoid Summer Learning Loss” was an appropriate post as we come to the close of the school year.  I am a strong proponent of continuing learning during the summer, as I have seen kids lose concepts even over Spring Break!  It is important to keep taking steps forward and not degrading the child’s base of learning.

The tools featured on this blog are all free apps that are easily accessible for the parents and provide reading platforms and interfaces for children of all reading stages. I thought this blog was very beneficial for parents and teachers over the summer, however wish that it gave some tools in the mathematics subject as well. 

GobstopperMeMeTalesBookster, and Tales2Go is the outlier here

The post “New Study Uncovers What Teens Actually Share on Social Media” was eye-opening and a little concerning.  I was astonished to read that only 60% of teens set their Facebook page to private (friends only) and that 20% have their cell phone number posted!  This post was based on a privacy study by the Pew Research Center.  The Pew Research Center conducted this survey in 2006, and the amount of information that teens are sharing on social media has increased drastically in all aspects.  I think this is an important post for parents to read, so that they can better monitor and protect their teens online.

The last post I read, “The Benefits and Downsides of Looping Teachers”, discussed the pros and cons of having the same teacher for multiple years.  Personally, I never encountered this while in school and was not aware of this practice being implemented into schools.  However, the special education teacher I work with has had the same children for multiple years and I have witnessed the tremendous benefits in looping in that specific case.  The benefits include an enhanced and deeper relationship with the students and their parents.  Looping also promotes better classroom management because the students aren’t having to learn new routines and rules for different teachers each year.  

The cons, however, include students being less able to adapt to change, continuous negative relationships, and students not being exposed to new/different teaching methods. 

I believe that looping can be beneficial, however only in certain instances due to the downsides discussed above.  

Check out http://edudemic.com/ when you get a chance!